Bottom line: The Republican solution to all problems is the stick. The carrot is reserved for the rich.
The poor are to be punished because they are “lazy,” “socialist,” and takers who need to be whipped like oxen to get them to work.
That is the bigoted nonsense continually pedaled by the GOP.
Excerpts from the following article demonstrate the right-wing bent.
Mississippi will send back fed’s rental aid, even as housing needs remain high, Aug. 13, 2022, By By Phil McCausland
In mere days, Mississippi will end its participation in the federal pandemic rental assistance program that has kept people facing eviction in their homes during the past two years of economic turbulence.
The state still has $130 million in federal cash to run the program, but Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said early this month that next Monday would be the last day to apply for assistance.
Once Mississippi finishes processing the remaining claims, they will be returning the leftover money to the U.S. Treasury, which maintains oversight of the spending.
The program’s end comes as rental prices in Mississippi have skyrocketed and a large percentage of those behind on their rent or mortgage said they are at risk of losing their home in the next two months, according to U.S. Census data.
If all these Mississippi men, women, and children become homeless, what will the GOP solution be? Just let them die out there?
The Rental Assistance for Mississippians Program, or RAMP, offered up to 15 months of rental and utility bill assistance for those in need.
It was funded by two Covid-19 economic bills passed by Congress in 2020 and 2021, which provided billions of dollars of rental relief to states to administer to people economically disadvantaged by the pandemic.
This is a net financial benefit to the states.
It adds money that passes through the hands of the populace into the hands of Mississippi’s businesses.
Those businesses can use the money to hire Mississippians.
But, for the GOP, any poor person receiving federal help is a “socialist.” (Rich people who receive federal benefits by taking advantage of tax breaks are just fine.)
Though unemployment continues to decline in Mississippi and the majority of participants in the program are employed, Reeves said RAMP disincentivized work.
In Reeve’s right-wing opinion, poor blacks are not like you and me. They would rather live on the meager scraps life serves them than work to improve their lives.
“This program has essentially become: If for whatever reason you can’t pay your rent or utility bill, taxpayers will pay them for you,” Reeves said in a statement earlier this month. “Mississippi will continue to say no to these types of liberal handouts that encourage people to stay out of the workforce. Instead, we’re going to say yes to conservative principles and policies that result in more people working.”
Classic bigoted misinformation. Mississippi taxpayers don’t pay for the program. The federal government does. And federal taxpayers don’t pay, either. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending. Even if all federal tax collections ended, the federal government could continue spending, forever.
Reeves’s decision is pure GOP meanness, a holdover from Mississippi’s days of whipping slaves to make them work harder.
Reeves’ decision hits Mississippi as the country experiences rising housing costs and fewer economic protections. Nationwide, median listing prices for houses were up 16.6% in July from the previous year, and rent grew by 14.1% in June 2020 over June 2021, according to Realtor.com reports.
Jacob Leibenluft, the U.S. Treasury’s chief recovery officer, said programs such as RAMP, which fall under the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, have helped to keep evictions below historical averages.
The program is a perfect example of how the carrot works better than the stick, not only from a moral standpoint but also from an economic standpoint.
He said the Treasury Department has continued to strongly urge states to use the funding to serve tenants and noted that more than 6.5 million payments have been made to renters facing eviction as of June. Even if the money is returned by states, he said it will continue to go toward housing.
“As we have done elsewhere in cases where funds are not used by the original recipient,” Leibenluft said, “we will continue to reallocate available funds where possible with a priority on keeping funds in state where there is outstanding need.”
Under Reeves’s brand of leadership, poor, impoverished Mississippi will send their unused money to other states.
Housing rights advocates and participants in the Mississippi program said the issue in their state isn’t finding work, like Reeves said, it’s finding wages that can pay for growing living costs. RAMP has been a huge aid to fill the gap, even though it often took months to arrive.
Teresa Walker, 45, a hairdresser in Jackson, said the pandemic caused her to lose numerous customers. While business has picked up, it’s still difficult to meet her rent of $935. She’s applied for the program, as well as for jobs at Target and Walmart to help her pay the approximately $4,000 she owes her landlord.
Because the process is so slow-moving, she hasn’t heard back since applying three months ago, and her bills are stacking up.
“They don’t care. They just don’t care,” Walker said. “The amount of applications they’re getting shows there is a need, and for them to suggest people like me aren’t working? It’s a slap in the face. It’s very insulting and degrading. You’re just not being sensitive to people’s needs and understanding it.”
Sensitivity is not a GOP strongpoint. Cruelty is.
The typical applicant in Mississippi was Black and female, Home Corps data shows. Less than a third of applicants were unemployed, but nearly 70% earned less than thearea median income where they lived.
Paheadra Robinson, who runs the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative in Jackson, said her group traveled across the state to operate clinics for those who needed help applying for the program.
She said they would have to bring computers and help people sign up for email accounts for the first time. More clinics were planned over the next month, but they will have to be canceled because of Reeve’s decision, she said.
“A lot of these people were able to afford where they were living prior to this explosion of rental increases, and now this spike is causing major financial issues for families,” Robinson said. “It’s just unaffordable for a lot of people, and I don’t think that was given proper consideration by the leadership of this state.”
Other states with Republican governors, such as Nebraska and Arkansas, have previously declined the federal funding that would help residents pay for housing and utilities.
This is not an aberration. Republican-run administrations have a history of not serving their states. They are the governors that have declined billions of ACA (Obamacare) dollars — dollars, that would have benefitted the entire state, not just the poor.
Govs. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas rejected hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been directed to their states, claiming they were shielding residents from socialist programs they didn’t need.
We assume the residents are grateful for being “shielded” from receiving help in paying their rent, buying food, and paying for medical services.
“We must guard against big government socialism where people are incentivized not to work but are instead encouraged to rely on government handouts well after an emergency is over,” Ricketts said in March.
“We cannot justify asking for federal relief when Nebraska has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and we are no longer in a state of emergency.”
But Gov. Ricketts, if Nebraska has “the lowest unemployment rate in the nation,” exactly what are you trying to get your working poor to do? Get two or three jobs? What is your solution to poverty? Just let them starve and freeze to death?
Or is your goal to force the poor to move to another state?
But nonprofits in those states have told a different story since the governors rejected the federal aid in the spring.
Together Omaha, which operated the rental assistance application process for the state, has had to scramble to provide rental assistance since then, said CEO Mike Hornacek.
“Across the board, we’re all experiencing the perfect storm that we were all worried about in the nonprofit sector, which is the need is continuing at the level that it did during the pandemic and the funding is going away,” he said.
“Unfortunately, in certain cases like ours in Nebraska, some of the leadership just doesn’t seem to understand that it’s not as simple as people need to get back to work.”
The Republican solution to all problems (in those rare circumstances when they even offer a solution) is cruelty to the unfortunate.
Too much street crime? The solution is longer jail sentences (i.e., “tough on crime”) rather than treating the fundamental cause of street crime: Poverty.
Illegal drugs? The GOP solution is harsher drug laws (which are proven not to work) rather than aid for rehabilitation.
Sickness? Take away health care insurance.
Homelessness? Take away financial support.
Poverty? Take away what little the poor have to “incentivize” them to work harder.
Illegal border crossings? Build walls and take children from their parents rather than helping people immigrate legally and integrate with American society. Every day we lose the opportunity for thousands of people to become productive Ameircans, as our ancestors did.
The Republicans have become the party of the rich, the cruel party. Despite all the flag waving, the right-wing has become the antithesis of what America claims to be.
Latent, unAmerican, hate-based cruelty may have begun to flourish with the Tea Party, in 2009, as a reaction to President Barack Obama. Its harsh ideas gradually have grown to full flower under Trump, the exemplar of “me-first, me-only” politics.
[No rational person would take dollars from the economy and give them to a federal government that has the infinite ability to create dollars.]
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.